Quest for Fulfilment
The man of keen intelligence restrains his mind from the objective world and focuses it on his true Self, Atman, which is most ancient, hard to perceive, and abides secretly in the innermost cave of the intellect. He transcends joy and grief by realising this Atman, which appears to be seated in the dark surroundings of the mind.
Katha Upanishad 1:2:12
The way to lasting fulfilment is revealed in this ancient verse. It is to turn the mind inwards in such a way that it comes to recognise and realise the divine essence at the source of the personality—the spirit or true Self.
This priority is typified in an incident recorded in The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teaching. Once, some of Shri Dada’s followers combined their efforts and resources and arranged for the building of a modest temple in their vicinity. They invited the holy man to preside over the consecration ceremony and, human nature being what it is, no doubt expected him to praise their achievement in building the temple. But what he said was: ‘My friends, it is good that you have erected this temple, but the outer temple must be no more than a symbol of the inner temple of your heart. From visible worship proceed to invisible worship.’
In the same way, Adhyatma Yoga teaches charity, compassion, respect for all religions. But if we want final fulfilment—the sense that we have grasped, assimilated and realised identity with what is ultimately and eternally real, the inner quest to fathom our ultimate nature must be undertaken.
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This article is from the Summer 2017 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.